Creative Writing Summer School

July 2021

Develop your writing skills in Manchester, a city with a rich literary heritage, which was recognised by UNESCO as a City of Literature in 2017. Explore a selection of contemporary British and Irish short stories and poems to inspire in-class writing assignments. Critique and improve your own fiction and poetry, become familiarised with the creative writing workshop and develop a useful critical language to support you to engage effectively with your own work and the work of others.

Course overview

The Creative Writing summer school will introduce you to some of the most important techniques of fiction and poetry writing. You will experience the creative writing workshop, helping you to develop a useful critical language with which to engage with your own work and the work of others.

The first half of the summer school will be dedicated to reading a selection of contemporary British and Irish short stories and poems as models which will inspire a variety of in-class writing assignments. In the second half of the summer school, you will begin to write and workshop your own fiction and poetry.

Course details

The course will be made up of a mix of lectures, seminars, workshops and individual tutorials. There is also a field trip excursion (details to be confirmed). The topics included for 2021 (subject to change) are likely to include:

  • Course introduction, poetry, language and tone
  • Point of view in fiction
  • Dialogue in fiction
  • Forms of poetry: sonnet and villanelle
  • Plot in fiction
  • Poetry workshops
  • Fiction workshops

Assessment and credits

You will be assessed through continuous assessment, written work and an oral presentation.

The summer school carries 20 credits.

Entry requirements

To apply to the Creative Writing Summer School, we expect the following:

  • You will be 18 or over on the first day of the course.
  • You will be a registered undergraduate student at a tertiary institution such as a university or college. Mature students, postgraduates and recent graduates are also welcome to apply.
  • You will have achieved good academic grades equivalent to GPA 3.0. Please contact us if you are not sure what the equivalent grade would be for your home institution.

English language

If English is not your first language, you must fulfil one of the following English Language proficiency requirements:

  • IELTS score of 7.5 (or equivalent) with a minimum of 7.0 in each skill.
  • TOEFL paper-based test minimum score of 590 with a minimum of 55 in all skills.
  • TOEFL internet-based test minimum score of 98 with a minimum score of 22 in all skills.
  • English Language O-level/IGCSE/GCSE grade B.
  • International Baccalaureate Standard Level English, grade 5.
  • Cambridge Advanced Certificate grade B.
  • Cambridge Certificate of Proficiency in English, grade A.
  • Level 5 of Chinese University English test for English majors, or Level 7 of Chinese University English Test.

All transcripts must be authorised by your university and your English language scores must be clearly presented in English and be no more than two years old.

We would be happy to consider your application or offer advice if you do not meet all of our entry requirements – please email to discuss your application.

Fees and finance

Tuition fee

The tuition fee for students taking the course for 2021 is currently being reviewed. The tuition fee covers the teaching, assessment and field trips.

If you are part of a group with more than 10 students from the same institution we can offer a 10% group discount.

Accommodation fee

The accommodation fees are not included in the tuition fee. For further information on availability of accommodation and the associated cost, please see the accommodation section. 

Personal expenses

In addition, you will need to budget for living costs to cover food, travel and personal expenses. Manchester is a relatively affordable place to live in. It is cheaper to cook than eat out. All accommodation provides cooking facilities. Weekly grocery shopping is approximately £30-£50.


All students are required to arrange their own travel and health insurance before arriving in Manchester.


Fees for the course, or part of the course, can only be refunded if cancellation in writing is received at least 20 working days before the published start date of the course. All refunds are subject to a £210 administration fee. The course deposit will only be refunded, less an administration fee of £210, within 20 working days of the course start date in exceptional circumstances e.g. a visa refusal, and upon receipt of documentary evidence. The administration fee is not refundable under any circumstances.


How to apply

Before you apply

Please browse the course content and entry requirements before applying. 

You need to submit the following documents as part of your application before Friday 7 May 2021:

  • an academic transcript from your current university;
  • proof of your English language qualification such as IELTS or TOEFL scores;
  • a completed application form (click to download).

Failure to include all of the required documentation will delay your application. Please see our Entry Requirements for further details.

All applications and accompanying documents should be emailed to

Applications are considered in the order they are submitted. Any applications received after the deadline may not be successful.

The admission process

  • All correspondence will be via email so please check for responses regularly.
  • After you have submitted your application, you will receive an acknowledgement email within 5 working days.
  • A decision will be made on all applications by the end of May 2021, but we may contact you earlier. If you are offered a conditional place we will send you a letter detailing your next steps.
  • Your place on the summer school is not confirmed until the course fees are paid in full. This is done via our online store using a credit or debit card. The deadline for payment will be Friday 28 May 2021.
  • You will also be asked to pay for your accommodation at this point.
  • Upon receipt of full payment, we will issue an unconditional offer letter.
  • Please note that a minimum number of students is required for the course to run. Confirmation that the course will run as scheduled will be sent out to applicants in May 2021.

Visa requirements

Not all students require a visa to enter the UK – you can check your eligibility on the Home Office website

If you do need a visa, it will usually be a Short-Term Study Visa which allows you to visit the UK for less than six months and undertake some study while here. It is not the same as a Tier 4 (General) student visa which requires a CAS number. You will be sent an unconditional offer letter which you can use for your visa application.

If you have any queries about which visa you should apply for, please visit the Home Office website or email The University of Manchester's visa office.

University and city life

The University of Manchester is centrally located in the city of Manchester. It is a 30-minute drive from Manchester International Airport and 10 minutes from the main train station by car, from which you can travel to the rest of the UK via an extensive rail network.

The University is within walking distance of the city centre and main attractions like museums, shopping centres, theatres and sports venues. The city offers a wide choice of food outlets and restaurants. We are at the doorstep of the Curry Mile, well known for its Indian/Pakistani food. Manchester's China Town is the largest in the country with a number of Chinese, Korean and Japanese supermarkets.

Within a short distance of Manchester are the beautiful national parks of the Peak District, Lake District, Lancashire, Yorkshire and Cheshire. You will find beautiful natural scenery and tranquil spots in these places. They are popular tourist attractions for British families and international tourists.

Find out more


Standard accommodation is available at Whitworth Park, and en-suite accommodation is available at Denmark Road.

We offer a choice of standard or en-suite rooms in university halls of residence close to the teaching rooms. All rooms are private rooms (no sharing) and are grouped into self-catering apartments which share a living room and a kitchen. Included in the fee are cooking equipment, a weekly clean, and fresh bed sheets on a weekly basis.

Wireless internet is available on campus free of charge to university students, but in some bedrooms there is a wired broadband connection so students are advised to bring a laptop with them to allow a cable connection. There are also study spaces and computers available in The University of Manchester Library which students are encouraged to use.

We allocate students to their rooms in each flat to encourage a diverse mix of people from around the world, in keeping with the international experience. Therefore, you may not be placed in a flat with students from your home university.

The university campus is open to the public but patrolled by campus security.

For more information and to check availability please email the Creative Summer Schools team.

What to bring

We recommend bringing the following items:

  • An umbrella, as Manchester can sometimes be a rainy city!
  • A good waterproof coat, to keep you warm and dry.
  • Sturdy footwear as we’ll be walking around the city and sometimes in the countryside.
  • A backpack or daypack for carrying your belongings when on field trips.
  • Sun protection cream, a hat and sunglasses for good weather. 
  • Warm clothes such as jumpers, coats and hats for night time activities, outdoor excursions and bad weather.

If you forget anything, there are plenty of shops in the city centre where you can find all of the essential items.

Contact us

For enquiries about the programme, you can contact the Summer School team:


T: +44(0)161 306 3997

Facebook /creativemanchester

Twitter: @creativemanchester

For more information on Creative Manchester see our website.